PRO TOOLS FOR WORK-FROM-HOME

Working remotely is nothing new for the Lotus TechPros team. Starting over a decade ago, we established a culture of flex-work hours and flex-workspace. Since then, we have actively sought out and implemented the tools and best practices that provide a combination of high productivity and personal flexibility.

 

We hope you find this information helpful for establishing your remote workforce in an effective, efficient and compelling manner. If you need assistance, please contact us.

Selection Criteria


The tools shown below are solutions the Lotus TechPros team has vetted for security, performance, and reliability. These tools enable your team to access business information and communicate with one another from anywhere, using a wide variety of devices—a fundamental requirement for remote work.

Privacy & Security


Due to privacy and security concerns, we avoid solutions from companies whose revenue is based on collecting and selling user data. We suggest you do the same. In short, if something is free, you’re probably the product, not the customer.

See our Security Best Practices document for additional tips for protecting your business data.

Full Disclosure


We choose solutions based on their merits and our own first-hand experience. Once we settle on a solution, we then establish referral relationships when possible. We appreciate you mentioning Lotus TechPros as your referral source.

Use At Your Own Risk


What works for us may not be the best solution for you. Please explore and use these suggestions at your own risk. If we can assist you with telecommuting technology for your business, please let us know. We would appreciate the opportunity to make remote IT work for you.

VPN & Security


We use hardware-based security devices to provide secure remote access to the Internet when working remotely. Although they are popular, we have yet to use or trust a third-party VPN service. That’s because, by definition, a VPN service processes all the data from your device before sending it on to its eventual destination. This approach creates a single collection point for your private business data.

Our Technology Toolset & Best Practices

Objective
Links
Key Benefits
Best Practices
Phone System
Dialpad
Business number with voice, messaging, and conferencing for each team member on all devices.
Stop using personal phone numbers for business. Use the Dialpad app for business calls on all devices. Send text messages using your business number.
Email Hosting
Rackspace
Business-class email. Low cost. Powerful filters.
Setup IMAP accounts on all devices. Create server-based email folders, and use server-side filters to manage incoming email effectively.
Team Messaging
Slack
Keep personal and business messaging separate. Multi-platform.
Create channels for workgroups and projects to support efficient and managed communications.
Meetings & Training
Zoom
Feature-rich and simple to use.
Use for internal and external meetings. Share screens and use annotations for productive meetings.
Information Repository
Daylite
Team-based contacts and calendar. Powerful search. Local copy of data for offline access.
Use as the single place to save all information except files. Make custom forms to keep information organized. Archive email in Daylite instead of Mail.
Cloud Storage
Box or
 OneDrive
Store and sync files across all devices. Share files through links. Easy access to all files.
Use Box or OneDrive (part of Office 365) as central storage for all documents for the entire business. Set up privileges to manage access.
Private Cloud Storage
Synology Drive
Physical server with features similar to Box and OneDrive. No user license or data fees. Data remains on-premises, not in the cloud.
Set up a Synology server at your location and install Synology Drive on all your devices. Be sure to set up an SSL key to ensure data is encrypted.
Accounting
Xero
Always available. Nearly paperless. Simple CPA access. No more paper or checks. Store documents with transactions.
Integrate bank and credit card accounts for nearly automatic reconciliation. Invoice and receive payments electronically. Pay bills electronically.
Accounting
Right Networks
Access accounting remotely on a cloud server for QuickBooks Desktop and other legacy accounting platforms.
Keep the accounting platform you currently use, but host it in the cloud so you and your accountant can access it remotely.
Credit Card Processing
Stripe
Simple setup. Simple, low fees.
Integrate with Xero (or other cloud-based accounting platform) for seamless credit card acceptance and processing.
Payroll & Benefits
Gusto
Fully automated payroll and benefits platform. Employee app for managing vacation and direct deposits.
Automate payroll for exempt employees and enter hours for non-exempt workers. Automate payroll tax filings. Includes integrated health insurance and other benefits.
Identity Protection
Lotus 
TechPros Dark Web Monitoring
Monthly reports of password breaches. Prevent exploits for credentials on the dark web.
Change passwords when a new breach is reported to mitigate the risk of identity and property theft proactively.
Device Security
Malware Bytes
Alerts for malware on devices.
Use the free version to monitor for malware and the paid version to remediate infections.
Internet Security
Meraki GO
Monitors all Internet traffic to and from your device. Blocks malicious links and other hidden traffic.
Install in your home or small business to secure and manage your wired and wireless networks.
Location Security
FrontPoint
Alarm system that uses multiple cell data signals for monitoring and notification. Easy installation.
Install the app on mobile devices to arm, disarm, and monitor multiple locations remotely. Use individual arming codes for audits.
Phishing Security
Lotus TechPros Phishing Awareness
Learn to detect and avoid phishing emails as criminals become more sophisticated.
Watch and learn from coaching videos when you unintentionally click on links in mock attacks.
Web Security
AdGuard
Blocks ads and online trackers on Web pages. Makes Web browsing faster and safer.
Install on all devices that are likely to be used outside business firewall. i.e. laptops & remote workers.
Internet Provider
Logix or
 Comcast
High-speed business-class Internet. Fiber to inside your location.
With any Internet service, ensure business-class with a business-class modem. Fiber to your location is key for the best performance.
Document Signing
SignEasy
A cloud-based solution to sign and fill documents or get documents signed from phone, tablet or computer.
Sign documents or send them for signature from wherever you are. Sign a contract yourself. Or get an agreement signed by partners in person. Or send a sales order for signature to a customer on the other side of the town.

Lotus TechPros: IT Made Simple.

CONTACT

Lotus TechPros | IT Made Simple.

5151 Mitchelldale St. Ste A5
Houston, Texas 77092
 

832.730.1200